An institution in the Northern Premier League, there almost couldn’t be a better time for Marine to thrive in the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The Merseysiders, based in the seaside town of Crosby, boast a rich history in FA competitions, having reached the third round proper of the Emirates FA Cup in the 1992-93 season while also twice making the semi-finals of the Trophy – in 1983-84 and 1991-92.
Marine are the longest-serving side in the top tier of the Northern Premier League, having been there since 1979, and in 2019, they will celebrate their 125th anniversary.
This weekend, they travel to Greater Manchester to take on Atherton Colleries, who play a division lower, in the second round qualifying and chairman Paul Leary explains why the Trophy means so much to Marine.
- The Buildbase FA Trophy
- Second Round Qualifying
- 3pm, Saturday 11 November 2017
- Alder House
- By Dan Barnes
“To have the excitement of a run in a national competition; for non-League, I’d say it’s the premier competition that the clubs enter into.
And of course, if the club can have a little run, what helps is the prize money.
This year, the prize money has been increased by the Football Association, it’s great that a little bit more is going down to non-League at our level.
We’re having a relatively poor season in the league so it would be nice to have a run in the FA Trophy to give the fans and the team something to shout about.
We are the longest-serving member club of the Northern Premier League Premier Division. We joined in 1979 and here we are, nearly 40 years later.
That’s good from a stability point of view. As a club, we’ve never been relegated and in two years’ time, we’re celebrating our 125th anniversary.
To have a run this year may set the scene for things happening in the next couple of years.
We’ve got a very loyal group of supporters.
What’s happened in the last few years is that our supporters have increased in numbers because of the pricing of tickets at Everton and Liverpool.
In the Merseyside non-League area, over the last 15-20 years, there have been a number of clubs with great traditional history like Marine that have either folded or have completely dropped down the pyramid.
Clubs like South Liverpool, Runcorn, Formby and Vauxhall Motors, who voluntarily went down from Step Two to Step Seven – there are not as many non-League teams around in Merseyside as there used to be.
So it’s great that we’re still here and we’ll be celebrating our anniversary in the next few years.
I believe that [Atherton Colleries] are a useful outfit and a tough side to play against but our form has improved since the end of September, and we’re going there with confidence.
We’re taking lots of fans to Atherton on Saturday – we’ve got a couple of coaches and a minibus and lots going by car, so we reckon we could be taking 150 to 200, which, at this stage of the competition, is very good.”